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When Carpet Cleaning can do more Harm than Good

Not too long back we heard about the story that the famous celebrity John Travolta’s son “Jett” died because of some rare condition known as Kawasaki disease. It’s a rare condition where the coronary arteries are damaged causing serious heart trouble. He was 15 months old when the doctors diagnosed him with this disease, the couple was shocked after filling out the questionnaire that they shampooed their carpet recently and later, leaning that might have been the reason why their son contracted this disease.

Though there is no official link between carpet cleaning and Kawasaki disease but there seems to be a big correlation between them.  “Until then I thought cleaning the carpets religiously was the healthy thing to do for my kids”, said Preston, Travolta’s wife.

Although it’s true that keeping the house and your surroundings clean is one of the keys to staying healthy, but as it’s commonly said everything in excess is bad, I guess this applies to cleaning as well. On an average, studies have showed that Canadians spend $275 million on cleaning products each year. Some cleaning ingredients may have acute or short term effects such as rashes, respiratory problem, watery eyes, etc. or even long term or chronic conditions such as cancer. Chlorine bleach and ammonia are considered to be highly acute toxic substances that are commonly used in most traditional household cleaning. They are highly irritating to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and people with asthma or lung or heart problems should avoid using them. Fragrances that are usually added in many cleaners, laundry detergents and fabric softeners may also cause respiratory problems, headaches, and irritation in the eyes. Some cleaners may contain ingredients that have long term effect such as diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), these can cause cancer or hormone imbalance in the body. Now if this is not a good reason to switch to green products, I don’t know what is?

We are exposed to cleaning products and their residues on a daily basis, they linger on in the air for us to inhale and can leave residue left on the surface where it can come into contact with our skin.

It’s no wonder why so many people are now switching to more natural products for cleaning also known as green clean products, especially those that carry the Eco Logo or Green Seal certifications are good for personal health as well as for the environment.

Benefits of using green cleaning products:

  • Health and environmental benefits: There is reduction in the amount of harmful aerosol in the air and therefore less risk of inhaling them and also less indoor pollution. Using baby and child friendly products is the most important step because they are more prone to diseases. Babies have a natural desire to lick the surfaces and put stuff in their mouth and as a parent, you instinctively want to clean the home again and again, but the truth is the more toxic products you use the more you are putting your child’s health at risks. Therefore using greener products can help protect your children while keeping the home clean and safe at the same time.
  • Reduces your carbon footprint: this happens because you reduce or minimize the packaging waste and transportation energy. Green products will generally contain a high rate of post-consumer recycled content.
  • Increase indoor air quality: A building can emit 36% more acceptable to VOC contamination up to two hours after cleaning. An EPA study indicates that indoor air quality is 3 to 5 times worse than the outside air, yet the general public spends 90% of their time indoors.
  • Reduces the cost: Many Green products come in concentrated form for proper dilution based on your cleaning needs, affording you a cost savings.

For those DIY types, simple products such as vinegar and lemon juice are pennies on the dollar and works great for home cleaning.

Now that we understand how using greener products can make a major impact on our health, before scheduling your carpets for a cleaning, make sure that you double check to make sure your carpet cleaners carry True Green Certification prior to making a decision on which company to use.

Very simple steps with just a little extra effort and a bit of due diligence will help you have a safe environment to live in and protect your loved ones or customers and staff if you’re a business owner, from harmful chemicals that might cause damage to their health and yours.  Go green and stay healthy.

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